Leadership in Distress: How to Create an Abundance Mindset

The GrowthPlay leadership team examined the sign of the times, and asked, what is it that we want to offer our community to elevate hope? That will create clarity and will drive some measure of control and confidence so that people can act courageously in this distress and post stress?  With our Leadership in Distress Series we hope we can draw wisdom and best practices from those who really make a living navigating and helping leaders flourish in all times of prosperity and in spaces of crisis and distress.

How to Create an Abundance Mindset

Deb Knupp: A solid reinforcement on that line to that end, and you know, as you’re looking at ahead and, as you’ve soberly reminded us, we all need to be sober right now around the fear and anxiety. And that there is going to be a time horizon out into the future.

And the human condition – I think when we’re feeling afraid or anxious, we go into this scarcity mindset and try to hold on to what we have. We going to see you and shame and blame. Those things are very human conditions for self-protection. And what I would ask is, how would you guide us and how would you see that when leaders say, in spite of that recognition of our humanity. I still choose an abundance mindset is still operate despite my fear and anxiety, I had the courage to step in. What closing advice or guidance would you tell us, for those who seem to be effective at choosing abundance?

Lisa Slayton: Yeah, it’s a great question. It is easy to get into that, you know, sort of fortification mindset, right? I’ll just put sandbags around my bunker, and we’ll get through this. And I think you have to do some of that. I think effective leaders are working on contingency planning, and stopping the bleeding, and preparing for hard decisions, and tightening where they can tighten. All of that is necessary, but the exceptional leader, I think, is also thinking about how they move to a place of caring and service.

I was on the phone at the end of last week with a business owner who runs a very interesting business outside of Denver. And I won’t go into all the details of it, but part of his platform, is a benefits platform that employers can buy into that provides resources for financial gaps that employees might have so that they don’t have to tap into their 401K and all that.

It’s a really interesting business model he’s developed. But part of their platform is a benevolence platform right so if there’s someone in the organization who is going through a hard time they can begin to take donations from other employees or from outside the organization and then direct those monies to a particular person. They can just create a general benevolence fund and then as needs arise, they can begin to move resources to people.

He told me there was one family in this particular company that had an immediate need. Based on their circumstances and within seven hours the platform was up and they raised $2500 for this family boom. This is the power of the kind of technology that we have available to us. He’s working with a group of churches pastors who have come together in the Denver Metro area to say.

You know, how do we begin to create a pool of resources for people in our congregations, who are going to be struggling, who are going to be out of work and all of that. I love that. It’s that we all can do something right. We all have the ability to do something and I think in this time, leaders can create space for that and opportunities for that. It’s part of that human connection that we feel. Like we’re still, you know, valuable and useful. I can put 10 bucks in a pot. My circumstances are not so dire that I can’t contribute in some small way.

And creating opportunities. I have a friend who runs the training camp for the Pittsburgh Pirates in Florida. Obviously, the training camps shut down, but they partnered with a local restaurant and made the decision that they were going to provide meals for frontline workers. So, you know, I saw pictures posted of Jeff and his team delivering 1500 pizzas one afternoon. In a drive by situation, they kept a local restaurant in business. I mean, multiple levels of service, right. That’s an abundance mentality. It’s what can we do in a positive way that’s going to contribute immediately.

You know, if you really scan the landscape, you can see all kinds of stories like that emerging businesses donated businesses making adjustments. There are all kinds of technology platforms being leveraged. A woman who is on the board for the community hospital system near here, set up a website and you can go in and sign up for meals and pay a certain amount. It deletes the administrative part and they can choose from a variety of restaurants. Snacks get delivered and all that kind of stuff to the hospital workers and the frontline workers. So I think there are a lot of ways to choose abundance and this does create a sense of community and belonging – a desire for the for each of us at the very core of who we are.

It is a place where we can be accepted and we can belong and we can contribute and so we all have the ability to do that in some way and the most exceptional leaders are going to be creating spaces and opportunities for that, even in the midst of difficult times.

Deb Knupp: So we don’t lose sight of our caring and serving qualities in this space.

Lisa Slayton is the Founding Partner and CEO of Tamin Partners LLC.

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